Why this article?
Well, OpenTX is an open source project, and people tend to like that because they can get the software for free. But we think there is a little bit more to it than just being free. That's why we sell our software.
The OpenTX project is run with a small group of developers. The code is not that easy to read, and a hobby-programmer will have a hard time being able to write some code for an additional feature. Nowadays it takes a lot of knowlegde to setup a programming and compiling environment, let alone do the programming, compiling and testing. So the idea of Open Source in a sense that anyone can take the code and alter it to make it do what they want is somewhat naive.
The average OpenTX user cannot contribute to the code they are using.
Ok, you say, no problem, the community will just ask for a feature, and then in the end the developers will pick the request up, and the users will get it. There are forums like RCGroups where features are discussed and proposed, and some might even find their way through to GitHub, where the code is hosted, to post an issue, bug or request.
Well, it doesn't work like this. Since it is an Open Source project, none of the developers is urged to do something in some way, other than when and if he likes. So if for some users it is an urgent feature, or a blocking bug, if the developers doesn't feel urged for some reason to do something with it, chances are that you'll never get what you want.
But shouldn't we be happy with all that we get?
Sure. We should be very grateful for all the nice stuff the developers of OpenTX have created so far. And we should respect their efforts to keep on improving it, which they do free of charge. And they are off course entitled to decide for themselves what to do and what not. There is nothing against that.
There are however no decision making processes, defining what needs to be done, and in what order. You cannot excersize any influence on what is developped or not, other than posting some ideas and starting some discussions. No Guarantees it will ever be implemented.
That's part of the reason the developers do it for free: they do it for fun.
And JustFly.be, aren't you advertising fun?
We do believe in OpenSource as a viable way of creating software, but we do not believe that is the best way in all cases, and certainly not the only way to have fun.
We derive pleasure from making customer friendly add-ons, addressing the needs of people that do not match the profile of the audience OpenTX is aiming at.
These add-ons unleash the power of OpenTX to these users, at a price! We sell our products, and if they don't provide our customers with any user value, they won't buy it.
It sounds a bit heavy, but if we can prevent OpenTX of being forked by people or companies that will adapt the source code because it lacks features that the OpenTX team isn't intending to add, mainly on the area of user friendlyness, we have achieved a very important secondary goal: Have OpenTX be one and only one project, without having the OpenSource community efforts split over different forks.
There have been numerous articles about open source, and that it is ethically wrong to make licensed software. There is some nice debate in this article to be found on google: http://jarredcinman.com/2006/09/12/is-proprietary-software-unethical/
Quote from discussion on Github on a feature improving user experience:
Us: "My general use case is to prevent ANY changes using the purely technical standard opentx user interface , because people simply don't know how to use it."